The Cleveland Browns are planning to hire Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as their head coach, a source confirmed to ESPN.
Stefanski, 37, will replace Freddie Kitchens, whom the Browns fired on Dec. 29 after he posted a 6-10 record in his one season at the helm. Stefanski was a finalist for the Cleveland job last year as well, before the team promoted Kitchens from interim offensive coordinator instead.
The Browns met with eight candidates, including 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. They also interviewed Mike McCarthy, whom the Dallas Cowboys later hired to be their head coach, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
The Browns did not overreact to the performance of Stefanski’s offense on Saturday, when it managed just 147 total yards and allowed six sacks.
Stefanski becomes the franchise’s 18th head coach, but already the 12th (including interim head coaches) since the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999. Stefanski will also be the fifth head coach that owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam have hired since purchasing the team in 2012.
Stefanski played defensive back at Penn. After graduating in 2005, he went to work for the Vikings, where he remained an assistant for the past 13 years.
Stefanski took over as interim offensive coordinator in Minnesota during the 2018 season and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2019. This season, the Vikings ranked eighth in the NFL in scoring offense with 25.4 points per game and sixth in rushing offense with 133.3 yards per game.